More or less as soon as we were able to venture out into the world again after the first pandemic lockdown we got back on the trail of The Great Bear.  Stop #15 was Hendon Central aka Katharine Hepburn in the world of Simon Patterson.  We set off there, in masks, to continue with our mission.

As Katharine is famous for her brownies (googling Katharine Hepburn Brownies will prove this point) that’s what I made for this escapade.  I was chez Mr R so I have fun rummaging around for a bowl to mix the brownies in – I love this green one…

and searching for something to cook them in amongst all Mr R’s tins. Eventually I decided on a little roasting pan which I lined with greaseproof paper.  I LOVE cooking in someone else’s kitchen.

I haven’t had much success with Katherine’s recipe in the past.  I’ve made them a few times and the brownies never turn out great for me.  It tickled me to read this article about someone else who had trouble with it  – in brief, The commenter described sharing the brownies with an acquaintance in Germany back in the ’80s, “who considered herself a great cook, asked for the recipe but was never able to get it to work. She kept asking me what she was doing wrong and I was never able to solve her problem. Eventually, she moved to the US and stole my husband!”

Katharine you home wrecker!

The brownies turned out OK, not fab, but OK.

As per tradition I presented one of them to the roundel.  This was a bit naughty as I waited until nobody was around and Mr R took a quick snap after I had whipped my mask off.  This was in the very early days of the pandemic and it had only just become a way of life to wear a mask in public.   Please note what over a year of lockdown living had done to my belly.  BURSTING AT THE SEAMS!

The whole experience was strange as it felt as if we were being very NAUGHTY INDEED, although I think it was still legal to eat food on a station platform…

It did feel weird lifting my face mask up and poking bits of the brownie through.

I wondered how many Great Bears would happen where we had to scoff our movie star fodder like thieves in the night…  At the time of course, I had no idea that the answer would be LOADS.

There was no pub jaunt after this Great Bear.  When we made this trip, pubs were still not allowed to have people inside, and not knowing which Hendon pub might have a big garden we just trundled home, feeling sad about the loss of real London pub life.

I have another three Great Bear trips under the belt from 2021 to document, those times are beginning to seem quite surreal in hindsight….

Here’s the recipe – good luck!

Mr Rathbone’s Hendon Central Factoids

Built among the fields of the old village of Hendon, Stanley Heaps’ station design was intended to form the centre of a new suburban hub. The four surrounding approach roads provided access to all of the village and its immediate areas, and soon became the epicentre to an “ever widening cluster of new houses”
36 Hendon As It Was, Memories ideas in 2021 | london, london underground stations, london underground tube
It was opened on 19 November 1923 and until the extension to Edgware was completed in 1924, was the terminus of the Golders Green extension of what became the Edgware Branch

The striking entrance with it’s doric stone colonnade, and the stylish ticket hall have retained enough original features to conjure up an image of what this grand station would have looked like on opening nearly one hundred years ago.

Thanks Mr R!  Next stop is Brent Cross where we took something from the kitchen of Mr Cary Grant to scoff.

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